On sacralizing

Intuitively elevating certain concepts, places, people and things far above the everyday, and imbuing them with worth and even power such that they begin to feel like beacons from the utmost, unerring instruments for repair and revelation, is a surprisingly common and natural behavior. People have historically done this with shrines, monuments, charms, extraordinary objects like […]

Connecting with the land

I spent a summer living on a mountain during a pivotal time in my life. That summer I made an unlikely friend: the mountain itself. When I needed to gather myself I walked from my lodge to a mortar wall facing a valley and sat. I stared into the valley, sometimes for as long as an […]

Issues with the words “atheist” and “theist”

What frustrates me most about the words “atheist” and “theist” is that they are labels for individual stances, individual beliefs, and yet are also typically statements about universal truths. Being an atheist is often taken to be an assertion that no deities exist for anyone, and this is often a correct assessment. Likewise proclaiming theism, more […]

What it felt like to be called

I sensed the divine “out there.” On some intuitive level I knew that there was something greater beyond the normal ebb and flow of life, and this something greater was powerful, life-changing, wonderful. Being apart from it felt like being trapped in a way, kept at bay from something I needed, and for that never […]

Why I pray: it changes me

I take a break from work, step out to inhale a bit of nicotine vapor and gather my thoughts, and I pray. Every time I do this I try to pray for something or someone, and not because I believe the act in itself will change anything beyond my mind. The effects of the prayer […]

“Living Without You”

This song impeccably describes what it felt like, living as someone with theistic longings, feeling called by some divinity, and finally coming into the light as I learned how to be myself. Thank you, Samantha James. Always felt something was missing I was calling out your name Hoping one day I would find you ‘Cause […]

Deities and identities

Relationships are central components of everyone’s identities. Who our parents are, who our friends are, the groups we are a part of, and how we relate to all of these things are all matters deeply intertwined with the concept of the self. It’s not only relationships with people that shape this outlook— relationships with places, works of […]